Protein balls, bliss balls, truffles, whatever you want to call them, they are definitely a popular snack at the moment. In any healthy, raw food focussed cafe you will find something similar to these. They are often massive and suck people in thinking that they are eating a super healthy, raw food snack, which will fit in perfectly with their diet related goals.
The truth is that while the all the ingredients individually are good options, when consumed in a portion controlled manner, they are still a higher calorie snack, especially when they are bigger than a golf ball. Many of the commercial balls that are labelled protein balls do not really have all that much protein, also fooling people.
You probably think that I am against snacks like this, which I am not, I just believe that people need to be aware and educated about the food choices they are making and not get sucked into fad diets that exist or claims that are made on products.
These balls that I have made contain protein in the form of nuts and seeds, but that’s it, hence why I have not labelled them a protein ball as protein is not the main component. The sweetness comes from medjool dates, which are a natural sugar source, but a sugar source nonetheless, with each date containing 4.5g of sugar, which is ~1 tsp. Mix this with some cocoa or cacao powder and you have a delicious chocolate tasting treat.
So, all in all, while these are a healthier snack than say a piece of cake, they still need to be eaten sparingly, no more than 1-2 per day. It all comes down to balance and portion.
As expected, my kids love these and for kids who are running around burning energy, they are a good snack. If you don’t want your kids eating cocoa, then they will still be a great option and equally enjoyed without the cocoa.
Enjoy in moderation xx
- 2/3 cup almonds
- 12 medjool dates, pitted
- 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/3 cup shredded coconut, toasted
- 2 tbs chia seeds
- 1 tbs cocoa or cacao powder
- 1/2 cup traditional rolled oats
- 1/4 cup water
- Extra toasted shredded coconut for rolling (~1/2 cup)
- To toast the coconut, heat a small frypan over medium heat. Add the coconut and toast, stirring until golden – this will happen quickly. Remove from heat once golden.
- Place the almonds into a food processor and pulse until broken down into large crumbs. Add pitted dates, seeds, coconut, cocoa and oats and process on high until it starts to form large clumps. Add the water and blend for another 20-30 seconds.
- Take heaped teaspoonfuls of mixture and with wet hands, roll into balls. Repeat with remaining mixture. If the mixture is too sticky to handle, refrigerate for 20 minutes.
- Place remaining toasted coconut into a bowl and roll each ball in the coconut to coat.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 5-6 days. These will also freeze really well.